“Our crew used their unique capabilities and authorities as a military service, law enforcement agency, and member of the U.S. intelligence community to disrupt transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific and keep drugs from making it to the U.S.,” said Capt. Edward A. Westfall, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell. “These illegal drug networks are dangerous breeding grounds for all types of trafficking and their immense profits fuel violence and instability.”
Ask any Coast Guard man or woman and any Marine about Douglas Munro and you will instantly be taken back to the fateful day in 1942 when a Coast Guardsman gave his life so a detachment of Marines might live. To a woman or man, each will recite Munro’s last words to his best friend, Ray Evans, “Did they get off?” In many ways, Munro’s sacrifice is at the very core of the close relationship between the two services. And, all who hear Munro’s story instantly understand the bond between American brothers and sisters in arms and the true meaning of service to nation.
This morning Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft signed the Coast Guard Western Hemisphere Strategy. It addresses transnational threats and maritime challenges that threaten the security of our Nation, markets and oceans over the next 10 years. The Coast Guard is globally deployed, but our primary operating area remains in the Western Hemisphere. As we engage future challenges we must think strategically to best position our resources to leverage our unique authorities, capabilities and partnerships to achieve national objectives across the range of Coast Guard missions.
Sometimes a person gets a weird feeling in the pit of their stomach because there is more to a situation than meets the eye. This feeling is commonly referred to as a person’s “sixth sense.” Coast Guard boarding officers are trained to follow that “sixth sense” while they’re conducting counter narcotics operations in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Basin. That’s exactly what happened to Petty Officer Matthew Baasch and a boarding team from the Cutter Bertholf when they climbed aboard the fishing vessel Goliat I off the coast of Colombia on June 28.
North Pacific nations are gathering this week to discuss the North Pacific Ocean, the body of water they all border that encompasses 21 percent of the world’s ocean area. The safety and economic security of these nations depends considerably upon the secure use of the ocean; for the large expanse of the North Pacific, this means strong relationships between nations with overlapping sovereignty, economic, security, emergency response and law enforcement concerns in the region. These relationships are bolstered each year through the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum.
But today – while seemingly familiar in sight and sound – was far from typical. Today marks 224 years of exceptional service by the men and women of America’s Coast Guard. It was Aug. 4, 1790, when President George Washington signed an act bringing to life ten cutters “to be employed for the protection of the revenue.” Alexander Hamilton first conceptualized these cutters as a viable asset for the country; at the time, he wrote, “a few armed vessels, judiciously stationed at the entrances of our ports, might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of the laws.”
Social media has changed the way we connect with others, engage in conversations or share our mutual interests. Social media is part of our daily lives. That means social media is part of telling the Coast Guard’s story.
Beginning in October, several enlisted Coast Guardsmen will join their seagoing counterparts from the U.K. to support the manpower needs of its Type 23 frigates. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul F. Zukunft and First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff of the U.K. Royal Navy Sir Adm. George Zambellas signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday, which aims to strengthen the maritime partnership between the United States and the United Kingdom.
More than 3,000 Coast Guard members call North Carolina home. North Carolina is also home to Rep. David Price, the 2013 recipient of the Commodore Ellsworth P. Bertholf Award. The annual award is a way to recognize members of Congress who exemplify the spirit of the award’s namesake – the service’s first commandant.
It’s not every day that a Coast Guard member finds themselves conducting cyber operations overseas, but that is exactly what Lt. Cmdr. Sean Plankey did while serving a 7-month tour in Afghanistan. After completing his masters in the C4IT advanced education program at University of Pennsylvania, Plankey was assigned to U.S. Cyber Command in Ft. Meade, Maryland as the Weapons and Tactics Branch chief. From this position, a unique opportunity presented itself: provide all offensive cyberspace operations in direct support of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and subordinate units.